Geo-fencing is a hot technology, especially in the home, and Apple’s new patent indicates that it has no intentions of ignoring the trend. The patent describes a home automation system powered by location data fed from Apple’s mobile devices, as well as additional integrated peripherals like credit cards and RFID badges. With this many sensors contributing, it becomes possible to create extremely detailed inferences of not only where a person is at any time, but what they’re doing, or even who they’re with. With this powerful information, Apple’s system goes beyond home automation, and incorporates another hot trend: anticipatory computing. Should the system be easily implemented (which is usually a strong suit of Apple products), it could be a boon for both trend areas, and inspire further innovations for each.
If you lack zen-like stillness when shooting with your iPhone, or if you haven’t yet mastered the fine art of triggering the shutter in time, Apple’s newly uncovered patent may bring you some relief. The design uses continuous capture to take a series of full-resolution photos rapidly as soon as the camera app is opened, and place them in a memory buffer. Once the shutter has been triggered by the user, the most recent images will be scored automatically for quality to present the user with what is likely to be the best image. As Android and Blackberry tout their advances in mobile photography, Apple could be preparing to launch some improvements of their own with the next iOS release.